Thursday, 25 April 2013

"Mad" Sam Destefano

Mad Sam Destefano was an infamous loan shark and sadistic torturer/murderer for the Chicago  Outfit.  His out of control persona and irrational behaviour precluded him from being inducted into the Outfit as a "Made Man".  Born in 1909, he engaged in crime from a young age and served a number of jail sentences for armed robberies, before joining a gang ran by none other than future outfit boss Sam Giancana.  He came to the attention of the Outfit, who were perturbed by his irrational and totally unpredictable violence, but overlooked this as Destefano became known in mob circles as "A good earner".  He was used by bosses to kill any person that crossed them, and he took extreme delight in making them suffer as much as possible.

    What put him on the map as far as the Outfit was concerned, was that he did not care that he was asked to murder one of his own brothers, Michael.  He did it.  Destefano became a big loan shark in Chicago, and had defaulters as clients, so if they missed a payment, he could torture them as a warning to others.  Sometimes he killed them, as a warning.  In the fifties, he recruited a young tough guy that two decades later would come back to haunt him.  This was Charles "Chuckie" Crimaldi, a muscle man Destefano used for beatings, bone breaking and murder.

    Destefano slowly tortured a guy called Jackson over three days as he was believed to have become a federal informant, but this turned out to be untrue.  Another torture murder that Destefano carried out, was on an associate named Leo Foreman.  Crimaldi and Tony Spilotro were sent to lure him to Destefanos` torture chamber.  Spilotro became the character Nicky Santoro in the film "Casino".  But things were to change as Destefano started dealing in drugs, a move that allegedly upset Crimaldi.  Crimaldis` younger brother died from a heroin overdose, and slowly the Feds managed to turn Crimaldi into a government witness.  After the defection of Crimaldi, and before a trial, Destefano threatened Crimaldi in front of his FBI handlers.  Destefano, Spilotro and Mario Destefano were facing charges over the Foreman murder. But it was decided that Sam was too much of a problem and it was thought that Spilotro gunned Mad Sam down, but it was never proven.  At the trial Mario was convicted but Spilotro was acquitted.